Cursed at birth by an evil lord, a princess uses intelligence, cleverness, and generosity to outwit the lord and undo the spell.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyBetween its once-upon-a-time beginning and its happily-ever-after ending, this picture storybook brings to life a spunky and intelligent heroine who, through acts of kindness, wisdom and goodness, manages to outwit the evil Lord of the Night. Without compromising the originality of her own voice, Bull ( Falcon ; Bone Dance ) makes use of traditional fairy-tale devices--a journey, a magic cloak, animals with special powers--so that the tale seems at once old and new. The princess has a crow ``as black as the inside of an inkwell who could recite every poem ever written'' and ``a walnut-brown dog who understood anything she said,'' but she willingly sacrifices her treasures to help others and, by journey's end, breaks the curse visited upon her at her birth. Gaber's ( The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies ) elegant illustrations contain a Renaissance luminosity and precision reminiscent of the work of Susan Jeffers, but she also includes fantasy images--gray mists, delicate apple blossoms, jagged yellow smoke--that spill out from the confines of the paintings' white borders. Stylish and visually intriguing, this lyrical fairy tale is enchanting. Ages 4-10. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Susie WildeBull presents a wonderful new heroine. Her parents will be ruined by the Lord of Night if they don't satisfy the princess' every want. This unspoiled princess feels as trapped as her parents and tries hard to delight in all she has. She awakens on her thirteenth birthday with a dream that becomes a journey of good will and giving that delivers her from the Lord of Night's curse. In this fairy tale there is no Prince Charming, rather a self-reliant princess who is charming.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 3-An original fairy tale with an intriguing premise: ``...the Lord of Night...put a curse on the princess when she was born, that if ever she wanted something she couldn't have, the kingdom would fall into ruin and the king and queen would die.'' When the princess awakens on her 13th birthday, she knows she wants something- she doesn't know what, but is determined to find it. On her journey, she gives away her beloved animal companions to people in need, and finally meets a very small old man who gives her a magical ring. When she returns home, the Lord of Night tells her he knows she wants something she doesn't have. She tells him that she wants to be free of his curse, and uses the ring to get her wish. With its classic fairy-tale theme of triumph over misfortune, this is a cleverly plotted story with an interesting mix of folkloric elements. The formal language is elegant and vivid. The romantic watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations are lush yet delicate, with clear, rich colors and lovely, flowing lines. A beautiful princess and a fearsome Lord of Night are dramatically placed in a Renaissance setting. Most children will love this long picture book; it would make a great classroom read aloud.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Annie AyresCursed at birth by the evil Lord of the Night, the princess must have everything she desires or the kingdom will fall into ruin and the king and the queen will die. But on the morning of her thirteenth birthday, the surprisingly unspoiled princess dreams of what she wants most of all and then sets off with all her wonderful possessions on a quest to break the curse. The story of how the princess uses all that she has been given to acquire what she wants most makes for a wise and witty original fairy tale. A successful writer of adult fantasy, Bull in her first work for children weaves an elegant tale of enchantment, enriched by a resolute heroine content to go out and get her heart's desire for herself. Gaber's illustrations are sometimes stiff and conventional but can be appreciated within the context of Renaissance manuscript art, which she studied to bring a period flavor to this work. The milky pastel palette and brushy style of the illustrations are similar to her work in Heather Forest's "The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies" (1990). Overall, a satisfying, feminist fairy tale that will be enjoyed by a wide age range of children.
- Harcourt Children's Books
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st ed
- Product dimensions:
- 8.84(w) x 11.29(h) x 0.37(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 10 Years
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